Virginia Flight Instructor Dead at 23 After Student Pushes Her Plane Into Stall

Viktoria Ljungman, a 23-year-old flight instructor in Virginia, died in an accident on Thursday after a student made a mistake and caused the plane to stall and crash, according to authorities.

The Williamsburg woman was conducting flying lessons with two 18-year-old students on Thursday, WAVY-TV in Portsmouth reported.

Oluwagbohunmi Oyebode of Hanover, Maryland, and the other young man were taking part in Hampton University’s aviation lessons. Both are students at the historically black university.

The Virginia State Police said Oyebode was flying at the time of the crash and had pointed the plane’s nose up too high during take-off, causing the aircraft to stall.

They said the plane — a Cessna 172 — had climbed to about 100 feet before it crashed near the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport.

“The investigation has revealed that during take-off, Oyebode attempted to pull the craft up at too steep of an angle, causing the engine to stall in the air, in which the aircraft dove into, and crashed into the embankment/ditch,” a state police representative said, according to WTVR-TV in Richmond.

The two students were seriously injured and have been hospitalized. Ljungman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ljungman became a licensed commercial pilot in April and was working as a flight instructor with the Rick Aviation Flight School, which has a partnership with the university, the Newport News Daily Press reported.

She was living in Williamsburg after graduating from Hampton, where she had gotten a tennis scholarship.

Friends of Ljungman have spoken kindly of her since hearing of her death.

In a statement to WAVY, former roommate Myana Mabry said, “We were two roommates with two completely different cultures- but we complimented each other so well. We were each others’ teachers- she taught me so much about her Swedish heritage and even invited me to visit Sweden [one] day! I taught her about my African American heritage which led to many conversations between us because Viktoria was just so curious and just overall respectful.”

“She was truly someone you only meet once. And I will love her until the day after forever,” Mabry said.

Charlie Hudson, a former Hampton University tennis player, said that Ljungman’s dream was always to be a commercial pilot.

“We were really each other’s family,” Hudson said Friday, according to the Daily Press. “I remember when I first met her, that’s all she ever wanted to do. She wanted to be a commercial pilot.”

He said that the tennis team often joked that, should any of them ever become a billionaire, Ljungman would pilot their private jets.

“I don’t remember her ever not smiling. She was just contagious in her energy, just lovely to be around,” Hudson said. “She was just … such a pure soul that she seemed so innocent.”

He added that Ljungman was genuinely unique for acting the same “both in person and online.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.